LIVERMORE — Regional School Unit 73 directors Thursday night, June 10, unanimously approved a four-day Moose River canoe trip for Spruce Mountain High School (SMHS) students.

The trip is June 28 to July 1 with a preparation day planned for June 26. The cost is $75 per student. Moose River is in Jackman.

“This is a trip I did numerous times while at Mt. Abram High School,” Athletic Director Marc Keller said. “I’ve done it a couple times since I’ve been here. I also took one of our students a couple years ago.”

June 26 would be spent learning about skills needed to be prepared, he said. Dry land canoe strokes, knots, loading canoes on trailers, setting up tents and learning how to cook over an open fire were some he mentioned. Gear for the trip would also be gone over to ensure necessities were included, Keller said.

“It’s an opportunity to learn,” he noted.

Principal TJ Plourde and teachers Nate Dana and Sikwani Dana have volunteered for the trip. There are about 19 more adult volunteers who’d like to go, he said. It’s hoped 12 students will participate, Keller noted.


When asked Keller said it will be first come, part of developing the Spruce Mountain Outdoor Club. It’s done hikes, snowshoe events, he added.

“The first year we had two kids planning to go (on a trip with Mt. Abram), then one had to back out at the last minute,” Keller said. “We’d like to get the club started, have an annual  trip.”

“I think it’s a great idea,” Director Phoebe Pike said. She suggested providing tick information since “there’s been an explosion of them” to all participants. Keller said that was already planned for Saturday.

Trip participants will learn paddling techniques while developing skills for moving water and learning to line canoes, run fast water and portage gear. There will be opportunities for fishing and swimming. Two waterfalls will be seen and at least three rapids experienced.

In other business, July 22 was set as a board meeting if one is needed.

“Normally we don’t have a July meeting,” Superintendent Scott Albert said. “I want to have a date set aside in case something drastically needs to be changed before getting into August.”


Earlier in the meeting Albert said the state wants to open up schools fully in the fall and is withdrawing all social distancing rules. Nothing has been stated about masks yet, he noted. Removing the three and six foot distance rules would allow the district to return to one bus run with all schools opening at the same time.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Albert said. “I’ll be working on backup plans.”

The board elected Robert Staples and Michael Morrell chair and vice-chair respectively.

Directors also highlighted activities held at the elementary and primary schools. Both schools held field days with special outdoor events to celebrate the end of the year. The primary school hosted outdoor music fun day concerts for parent June 2 and 3.

“I was lucky enough to be there, see how well organized, how happy the students were even with the masks,” Pike said of the elementary field day. She gave props to the teachers and was impressed with how everything went.

Director Patrick Milligan has interacted at the primary school throughout the year. He also noted the organization required and the folks always there to help. The field days for cohorts A and B was like putting quarters in a machine, he noted.

“The teachers did it over and over again,” Milligan said. “Great things are happening we’re not all able to see.”

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